Sunday, January 1, 2012

White Ring - "Hey Hey My My + Felt U" (2011) [Handmade Birds Records]

"Witch House" is a really hit-or-miss style. Though oOoOO's moody, Lucio Fulci-inspired gloom, Sleep Over's hazed electronic folk, and Salem's bass-heavy, gothic party music all call this newfound genre home, a more-than-steady flow of online mixtapes and compilations has shown "Witch House" to be, more often than not, awkward, hip teens with a keyboard, psychedelics, and an obsession with Microsoft Word's "webdings" font. Don't get me wrong, there are many gems, but, as research has proven, this "witchy" niche, which is already declining, making way for heavier, dubstep-inspired trash (icky), has been nothing more than a fad with a cool name. However, Brooklyn duo White Ring, with quite a few releases under their belt since 2009, has never failed to impress.

This two-song 12", released on the always-awesome Handmade Birds Records, opens with an odd, dreamy tribute to the one and only Neil Young. Though there is something to be said about a dark, electronic cover of rock anthem "Hey Hey, My My (Rock And Roll Will Never Die," complete with palpable irony, White Ring's incredibly deep, cough syrup-drenched homage is instantly memorable. Up next "Felt U," an original tune and a crowd favorite which took far too long to release. Again, the senses are bombarded with dreamy, drugged voices and enveloping synthesizers, this time accompanied with much more traditional, albeit minimal hip-hop beats. Is rock and roll dead? Vocalist K. Malia's shrine to Kurt Cobain might say yes, but, if anything, their cover only made things "witchier."

Hey Hey, My My + Felt U is the first release in Handmade Birds' White Label series and is available from their online store.


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